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Violent eruption of underwater volcano near Tonga causes tsunami Updated: 2022-01-17 17:11:43 KST

An underwater volcano in the Southern Pacific Ocean violently erupted on Saturday, and was heard 10-thousand kilometers away in Alaska.
The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai sent tsunami waves crashing across the shores of nearby Tonga.
It also sent ash, gas and steam 20 kilometers up into the air.
While the capital of Tonga, Nuku'alofa, is known to have suffered "significant" damage, so far there haven't been any reports of injury or death.
However New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said communication with Tonga is still limited.

"The main undersea communications cable has been impacted, likely due to the loss of power and that is why communications have been limited. Telecommunication authorities are working urgently to restore communication."

New Zealand and Australia have dispatched surveillance flights to assess the damage.
And due to the intensity of the explosion, alerts were soon issued by countries sharing the Pacific, including Fiji, Peru, Japan, the U.S., New Zealand and Canada, which have mostly since been lifted.

Thus far around the world, Peru has reported two deaths as a result of the eruption, with the two reportedly having drowned in waters off a northern beach after unusually high waves.

The U.S. West Coast saw waves of over 1.2 meters early Saturday morning,while Japan issued a tsunami warning for the first time in five years, warning of waves as high as three meters for some southwestern islands.
Since then, Japan has reported waves of around 1.2 meters hitting its Pacific coast.
Other countries like Australia and New Zealand briefly evacuated those vulnerable near coastal areas.

While for now it seems that the worst is over, countries are still keeping an eye on the situation.
Experts say this is a very significant eruption as tsunamis from underwater volcanos are much less common than those from earthquakes, and this kind of giant explosion is once in a thousand-year event.
Kim Cheong-ah, Arirang News.
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